By Angie Weitkamp, Kaskie Shetland Sheepdogs
This article was written to help our pet puppy buyers understand our spay/neuter policy. It was also designed to help those who come to us for stud services decide if breeding their dog is the right choice, and if it is, what is involved and how to go about it intelligently.
We often deal with the term "unwanted pets." However, there should be no such term. Every puppy should be planned for and wanted, which means the spaying and neutering of all animals not intended for breeding. Every dog should have a home where it is wanted and loved. This means that owners have made every effort to keep their dog from roaming and to see that he or she is wearing ID tags. There is nothing worse than the overpopulation in our animal shelters which results in the euthanasia of innocent animals, or the sight of an unwanted dog by the road only because someone did not care enough! The terms pound seizure, laboratory research, pet overpopulation, cruelty and neglect come up all too often in our vocabulary! Remember, these could be our dogs! These are some of the reasons we must be responsible breeders and dog owners and think twice before we breed.
Breeding a litter of puppies is a responsibility not to be undertaken unless you have the time, energy, money, knowledge and facilities to do it right. Puppies are not "playtoys"; they are living, feeling, intelligent beings. When you bring a litter of puppies into the world you must accept the responsibility of caring for them properly and finding responsible homes for them.
If you bought your pet puppy from us, you signed an agreement to have him or her altered by the age of one year. We take our responsibility very seriously and we do not want to see any of our furry "grandkids" at a shelter or alongside a road somewhere or even perhaps for sale in a pet shop. Unless you have put many years into the study of the Sheltie and the Standard to which Shelties should conform, you are probably not equipped with the knowledge that it takes to be a breeder. Do you know the dogs in your pet's pedigree? Are you familiar with pedigree research? Have you a vast knowledge of the genetics involved? What colors can be bred to which? What is white-factoring (which can result in a white Sheltie)? Why, if you breed certain colors, you can get puppies that can be sight and hearing impaired? What health tests should be done beforehand? What is PRA, SES, etc.? Are you equipped to deal with prenatal and whelping complications? Are you willing to risk your dog's life? These are just some of the reasons we do not allow our pet puppies to be bred.
Please do not breed your pet because you want a puppy just like him or her. Chances are you will not get one just like him or her, and it is far easier and safer to just purchase a pup. In doing so you will not be bringing more puppies into this already crowded world. Also, keep in mind that most people who "want one of his or her puppies" will actually change their minds once the puppies arrive. (Try asking for deposits before you breed.) If your intention is to allow your children to experience the miracle of birth, remember to also visit your local humane shelter on euthanasia day so your children can see the reality of death as well. We have videos if your children want to see puppies being born.
If you are still interested in breeding, we have listed the following questions to help guide you in making the right choices:
1. What is your reason for breeding? Is it a good reason?
2. Is your dog free from inherited defects? Have you had the tests done to back this up? Can you explain such terms as PRA, SES, and vWD? These can be inherited problems as well as skin problems, lupus, hip dysplasia, etc. Do you know what they all mean?
3. What are your future plans for your male or bitch? (Do you want to show him or her, etc.) Remember that raising a litter will take up most of his or her time and attention, as well as yours.
4. Will your lifestyle allow for a litter? Will there be someone home all the time? Do you work long hours?
5. Do you have the proper facilities? Often this means setting aside a separate room for the whelping area.
6. Can you afford this? There are many expenses, including:
A. Medical care of the mother. $
B. Medical care of the puppies. $$
C. Supplies. $$$
D. Other expenses. $$$$
All this is assuming your bitch has a normal uneventful pregnancy and a healthy litter! Shelties are not easy breeders. Sometimes they do not get pregnant or they will reabsorb the litter or miscarry due to stress or other factors. Sometimes they have false pregnancies. There may be complications, Caesarean sections, birth defects, sick puppies, or mom may become sick. The average litter size is three to five, but sometimes only one puppy is born. So, as you can see, if done properly, breeding is not a money-making endeavor.
7. Are you prepared to deal with:
8. Is your male or bitch a good representative of the breed? Remember that it takes more than just a pretty face! Should he or she really be bred? Temperament, soundness, health and conformation are prime considerations--Have you studied up on the breed? What is his or her pedigree? This is important--breeding is not just putting a male and female dog together, you must know the dogs in his or her background. This will give you an idea of what you will be producing in regard to size, temperament and potential health problems as well as other considerations. Will you be inbreeding, linebreeding or outcrossing?
9. Before breeding you must:
10. Reasons for not breeding:
If you still want to breed your dog and you feel you can meet the above criteria, then give us a call. But remember--in breeding there are no shortcuts. If you are not prepared to do it properly--do not do it at all!
STUD SERVICE CONTRACT
This is to certify that the stud dog:__________________________________________, AKC#:________________________________________,
was bred to the bitch:______________________________________________________, AKC#:________________________________________,
on the following dates:_________________________________, and is due to whelp on or near the dates:_________________________.
Conditions of Service
1. The stud fee for this mating is $_______________.
[ ] The fee is payable at or before the time of mating by certified check or cash.
[ ] The fee will be fulfilled by the selection of a puppy from the resulting litter as agreed to by both parties. Terms of selection are as follows:
2. All fees are payment for the stud service only and are not to be construed as a guarantee of puppies. If the bitch fails to whelp or whelps fewer than two living puppies at birth, the owner of the bitch must notify the stud dog owner not more than 65 days after the date of the last mating. There shall be no refund in whole or part, but a return service to the same stud shall be provided at the same bitch's next heat if both are still available; if not available, to an agreed alternate.
3. If a bitch fails to whelp or give birth to two living puppies as a result of this second mating, then this agreement shall be terminated and the stud dog owner shall have no further obligations.
4. If ownership of the bitch changes, right of return service shall be at the option of the stud dog owner.
5. Owner of the bitch agrees to keep the bitch confined and inaccessible to all other male dogs from the start of her heat cycle until the bitch is fully out of heat.
6. Owner of the stud dog agrees to keep the bitch to be bred confined and inaccessible to all other male dogs until the bitch has been bred and returned to her owner.
7. Reasonable care will be given to the bitch while in the possession of the stud dog owner. Any veterinary fees incurred during this time are the responsibility of the bitch owner.
8. The following items are needed prior to or at the time of service:
9. The bitch owner agrees that all puppies resulting from this litter will be properly cared for and placed in the proper homes.
10. No puppy resulting from this breeding shall be transferred to wholesale outlets, dog dealers, brokers, humane shelters, laboratories, pet shops or their agents.
11. Bitch owner agrees to have buyers sign a contract including the statement that they will not transfer said puppies or their offspring to wholesale outlets, dog dealers, brokers, humane shelters, laboratories, pet shops or their agents.
12. Bitch owner agrees to sell all pets as non-breedable and will enforce this term by checking the limited registration box on the AKC registration form.
13. Bitch owner agrees to require that all pups sold for show/breeding must be checked and have the necessary health clearances before being bred (for example, eye, hip, vWD, brucellosis, etc.).
14. Bitch owner agrees to furnish the stud dog owner with the name, address and telephone number of the owners of the puppies from this litter and the purpose for which each puppy was sold.
15. The owner of the stud will appraise the offspring of this breeding for the owner of the bitch at no charge when the puppies are six weeks of age. The owner of the bitch shall make an advance appointment for this service.
16. The owner of the stud will, as a matter of courtesy only, refer prospective puppy purchasers to the owner of the bitch when the puppies are at least seven weeks old.
17. Additional terms:
18. Bitch owner agrees to pay a penalty of $500 for each and every violation of this contract.
19. It is specifically agreed that the stud dog owner is not obligated to sign the application for registration of this litter until the stud fee has been paid in full or, in the case of a puppy fee, the stud owner has possession of the puppy or puppies as agreed. Nor is the stud dog owner required to sign the litter application if any of the conditions in this contract have not been followed or if there is a question as to the parentage of the resulting puppies.
We have read and understand the conditions of this contract. Any/all fees incurred in the enforcement of this contract shall be borne by the party in default. By our signatures we agree to these conditions and acknowledge having received a copy of this contract.
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Last modified: April 19, 2012